Weaving Hope Construction

Weaving Hope Update

By Mark Dirks, Beacon’s CEO

I’m VERY excited to announce that construction has started on the Weaving Hope preschool in Rwanda.  But, wait, there’s MORE!  We have committed to building ANOTHER preschool in the same area to complete the Nkuzuzu campus!  These schools will change lives forever… nourishing the minds and bodies of young children, year after year, giving them real hope for a healthy future.

Amazing what we can do as a TEAM.  Together, we are making a difference!  I can’t emphasize enough that there were HUNDREDS of people who made this happen, what I call our “Building Team”.  If you bought a basket, you are part of this school and as long as it stands, you helped the children that come through it.  Can it get any better than that?

A heartfelt Thank You to All of our “Basket Buyers”!   Nearly 1000 baskets were sold to raise $30K, with every cent going toward the Weaving Hope effort.

We will be traveling back to Kigali for the Preschool Dedication Ceremony on May 16th.  Archbishop Laurent Mbanda will be in attendance along with the first classes of children and many others.  Wow, I’m already getting emotional just thinking about it.  We will also see where our next school will be built.  As you can see from the pictures, the view is incredible and why Rwanda is called, “The Land of a Thousand Hills”.

Some others need special recognition:

My Beacon Team:  The entire company bought into supporting Weaving Hope – the website, the marketing, the basket tags, the sales to friends and family and most importantly, the purchase of all the baskets and shipping costs to get them to the United States. Thank you to my Beacon family.

Burton + BURTON:  Maxine & Bob Burton own the largest balloon and coordinating gift company in the world, serving over 100,000 clients worldwide.  My relationship with them dates back to 2001 (18 years) and they jumped on board to support Weaving Hope by selling the baskets through their website, leveraging their warehouse and distribution services, deep experience in international logistics (especially the FDA approval process) and creating Weaving Hope displays for all of their showrooms across the country.  I am moved by the fact that what started as a business relationship years ago has turned into so much more!  The Burton family and company have been incredible!  Thank you.

Abraham Konga and the Women’s Cooperative in Gitarama, Rwanda:  Abraham and I “clicked” as friends at our first meeting in Kigali.  He introduced me to the Women’s Cooperative and handled all the basket shipments.  Don’t forget that Weaving Hope also helps the women who handmake the baskets to support their families and give them meaningful employment in a country where women have struggled.  Weaving Hope has essentially “kept” the money in Rwanda by purchasing baskets on the front-end and building a school in Rwanda from the proceeds.  My experiences with Abraham and my time watching the women artisans craft the baskets makes me smile every time I think about it.

John Craig and the Anglican Church in Rwanda:  Even before Weaving Hope’s inception, John has been a part of this effort.  He has been there every step of the way, bringing all the right people together on the African side of this project – especially the Anglican Church and Abraham Konga.  He opened his home to us and was our guide to learn more about the people of Rwanda.  But more importantly, he helped us clearly see the importance of the Weaving Hope project and how it would directly impact many lives.  Thank you, John & all the great people at the Anglican Church.

Special Partners:  ClubFitness of Greensboro, Wake Forest University and Carson Dellosa.  My friends at ClubFitness organized and marketed several “basket sales events” and the members purchased well over 100 baskets!  Thank you ClubFitness!  My alma mater, Wake Forest, provided hats, stickers, coin purses and frisbees to give to the children during our first trip to visit preschools.  These children have nothing.  So just imagine what it was like to wear a Wake Forest hat home from school or to have any of these items.  It was so special to see their faces light up.  Thank You Wake Forest – Pro Humanitate at its finest!  And Carson Dellosa, based in Greensboro, sent boxes of educational stickers for the teachers to use in their schools.  I saw their concrete floors and barred window classrooms first hand, which contain very few materials. Thank You Carson Dellosa.  On top of all that, imagine what happened when Burton+Burton handed out balloons to every child!  It became a big party!  Yes, balloons are fun no matter where you are in the world!